GOP candidate falsely claims government 'force feeds' people COVID vaccines

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Republican Alex Stovall, who's running for Congress in Arizona, is also under Army investigation after campaigning in uniform.

Alex Stovall, a Republican congressional candidate in Arizona, on Tuesday falsely claimed that the government is force-feeding people the vaccine for COVID-19.

"The moment your government attempts to force feed you with anything (vaccine) followed by incentivizing the people with the very guns they're always trying to take from you... What should the people do😳?" Stovall tweeted.

Stovall is running for the congressional seat in Arizona's 9th  Congressional District, which is currently held by Democratic Rep. Greg Stanton, a former Phoenix mayor. Stanton won 61% of the vote in his reelection campaign in 2020.

While there are major campaigns underway to urge people to take the vaccine to stop the spread of the virus, which has taken the lives of over 594,000 people in the United States so far, there is no evidence to support the notion that government is forcing it on anyone.

Stovall's reference to "incentivizing" people with guns appears to be a reference to the campaign announced by West Virginia Republican Gov. Jim Justice to raffle off rifles to people who can prove they have been vaccinated.

Stovall, an Army reserve officer, is currently under investigation by the military after he used pictures of himself in uniform for a campaign ad and conducted an interview with the far-right One America News Network while wearing his uniform.

Members of the armed services are prohibited from using their service to give the appearance of endorsing a political campaign.

"The U.S. Army Reserve follows the Department of Defense’s long standing policy regarding service member involvement in partisan political campaigns to avoid the perception of DoD sponsorship, approval, or endorsement of any partisan political candidate, campaign, or cause," Lt. Col. Simon Flake, a spokesman for the Reserve, told the site Task & Purpose.

Referring to Stovall, the spokesman said the service is "aware of the situation and are investigating."

Stovall has also made the false claim that President Joe Biden is not the President of the United States.

Appearing on a fringe right-wing program, "Gun Freedom Radio," on April 14, Stovall said of Biden, "I don't think he's president" and described him as "this sleepy guy in office."

As president, Biden is also the highest-ranking military official in the United States, serving as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Armed Services.

Stovall faces an uphill climb in the race for this seat. Since the congressional district was created after the 2010 census, it has always been held by a Democrat, and the Democratic share of the vote there in presidential elections has increased from 51% for former President Barack Obama in 2012 to 61% for Biden in 2020.

In his campaign materials, Stovall has frequently touted himself as "running for Congress to take on AOC," a reference to Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

Ocasio-Cortez is a prominent target of right-wing vitriol and attacks.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.